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Beginning later this month, transit agency buses can use the I-5 shoulder when traffic is congested. 

PMG FILE PHOTO - The South Metro Area Regional Transit agency is adding a bus-on-shoulder initiative on routes to Tualatin.

To introduce a pilot project that will allow South Metro Area Regional Transit buses to ride on a section of the I-5 shoulder, and thus minimize traffic delays, the Wilsonville transit agency and the Oregon Department of Transportation are hosting a kickoff event at the Wilsonville Transit Center at noon Tuesday, Oct. 26. 

The pilot project will take place only on the SMART 2X route to and from Tualatin Park and Ride — essentially I-5 from the I-205 interchange to Elligsen Road — and can be used when traffic is traveling below 35 mph, according to a news release. Buses traveling on the shoulder can't travel more than 35 mph. No other vehicles will be allowed to use the shoulder. 

"Bus on Shoulder offers transit users a mobility advantage when heavy traffic congestion occurs at peak rush-hour commute times. The new service may incentivize new commuters to consider public transit with free Wi-Fi as a viable, low-stress alternative to driving," the release read. 

ODOT Director Kris Strickler, Wilsonville Mayor Julie Fitzgerald, Tualatin Mayor Frank Bubenik and others will speak at the event. Attendees also can embark on a demonstration shoulder ride. 


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